Welcome to Trade Rumor Theatre, where we report on the reports on the rumors of the Rockies’ reported attempts to trade Nolan Arenado.
Today’s episode: Nolan Arenado and the #BestFansInBaseball.
The trade rumor flavor of the day is the St. Louis Cardinals, a team Nolan reportedly admires because they win and stuff (ahem ...).
So let’s start by looking at what Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has to say about the Cardinals trading for Nolan.
I’m sure this will be unbiased and trustworthy.
Those two “intrigue” and “inevitable” reports, along with the coverage at The Post-Dispatch and Denver Post about the Cardinals’ interest and Rockies’ actions, offer lodestars for what is known about these discussions and what we know of the Cardinals’ level of interest. It is not clear, through my reporting, how aggressive the Cardinals are being. The rest is misdirection, speculation, or just noise at this point.
This is not what I expected when I started reading this article. For a reporter to basically say, “We don’t know. No one is saying anything, even to us,” is kind of amazing.
Goold also breaks down the trade scenario based on his knowledge of Nolan’s agent, Joel Wolfe, and how Wolfe has handled previous trade situations. He also discusses the complications of the opt-out clause, as well as confusion over why either the Rockies or Nolan would be looking to void their contract one year into a long-term deal.
So, uh ... this is a really interesting article, actually.
Jon Paul Morosi jumped on the Cardinals rumor by offering some names that could be included in a trade package. Among them:
Matt Carpenter: Hit .226 in 2019. Owed some money.
Jordan Hicks: Coming off Tommy John surgery. Used to throw really hard. Maybe still does.
Nolan Gorman: Top prospect. Third baseman Also named Nolan.
Andrew Knizner: Catching prospect. Almost MLB-ready.
Matthew Liberatore: Top pitching prospect. Lefty.
Dylan Carlson: Outfielder. One of the five best rappers of all time, probably.
Jack Flaherty: Off the table.
Carlos Martinez: Not actually mentioned in this article, despite earlier rumors.
I know Jon Paul Morosi isn’t everyone’s favorite reporter guy, so if you’re looking for an update from more of a Jeff Passan-type MLB source, good news! Here’s an update from a very Jeff Passan-type source:
Quick Nolan Arenado update in yes-and-no form, per sources:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 14, 2020
- Yes, the Rockies and Cardinals are talking.
- No, the talks haven't gone anywhere.
- No, the exchange of names has not been productive.
- Yes, it's still considered a long shot that Arenado is dealt in the short-term.
Could the Cardinals land Arenado? Sure. But Anne Rogers at MLB.com seems to agree with Jeff Passan on that front.
The first thing to note is that there is no indication that the Rockies have decided to commit to a rebuild and deal Arenado, but they’re reportedly entertaining discussions about him. There’s also no indication that the Cardinals are aggressively pursuing a trade for the star third baseman, although they have shown genuine interest in Arenado, both in the past and recently.
Nick Groke in Denver and Mark Saxon in St. Louis also try to “get at the fire” behind the trade-rumor smoke. It results in them being confused and having headaches.
So just how much truth is there to these rumors? Well, according to St. Louis President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak, “90 to 95 percent of it is untrue.”
This doesn’t really tell us a whole lot, except that a trade to the Cardinals is not as imminent as some reports have made it sound. But also, maybe there’s some truth to it?
I’m imagining it’s one of these two scenarios:
Mozeliak: Hey, Jeff. We’ve heard some rumors. What would it take to get Nolan Arenado?
Bridich: Why? What you got?
Mozeliak: (mumbles a bunch)
Bridich: Those aren’t words.
Mozeliak: I dunno ... Carlos Martinez or Dakota Hudson or that new guy Matt Liberatore or you could have Matt Carpenter and his salary or hey, we have a third baseman named Nolan in our system. Any of those sound good?
Bridich: (hangs up)
Mozeliak: Hey, Jeff. We want Nolan Arenado. Here’s a legitimate package we think is good. Let’s discuss further.
Mozeliak: But let’s not say anything to the media until it’s a done deal.
Bridich: No problem. I don’t talk to the media.
In summary, the Rockies’ offseason has basically been this:
National media members have stirred the pot this offseason regarding the situation with Arenado, and there has yet to be any concrete reporting to suggest the superstar third baseman would like to be traded.
Some local reporters don’t seem to believe there’s much truth to these rumors, or at least they don’t think Nolan will be traded. The national media thinks he will be, or at least they think it’s an interesting thing to talk about.
So who is right?
That’s the fun thing about being a Rockies fan! We don’t have any idea what’s going on!
But regardless of what you believe, I think we can all agree on this point:
He could. But he isn’t.